Bait by D.I. Jolly

Publisher: Galatea

Date of publication: July 19th, 2022

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, New Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Trigger Warnings: Physical Child Abuse, Emotional Child Abuse, Verbal Child Abuse, Child Abandonment, Cheating, Sexual Assualt, Murder, Gore

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Amber thought her life was perfect.

She was in love with her boyfriend Frankie, had a nice summer job at Taylor’s Book and was enrolled at Marshall University to become a teacher.

Everything was on track for the perfect life.

And then Bastian walked in. Not only was he the most handsome man Amber had ever seen, but she felt a pull that she’d never felt before.

From the very first moment she saw him he filled her every thought and made her body want things it had never had before.

First Line:

You know, working at Taylor’s Books wasn’t a bad way to spend the summer. The drive was a bit far, but the people were nice, the hours weren’t bad, and it was more money than not working.

Bait by D.I. Jolly

Amber was living the perfect life, or so she thought. She had a wonderful boyfriend and a great job and was looking forward to attending college in the fall. Then Bastian walked into the cafe/bookstore she worked in, and everything disappeared. The connection to him was instantaneous. For Bastian, the connection with Amber was more profound and meaningful. Amber was Bastian’s soulmate. But Bastian has secrets that could threaten his and Amber’s happiness. What are Bastian’s secrets? And how will they threaten his and Amber’s happiness?

Bait is a fast-paced book that takes place mainly in Huntington, West Virginia (where Amber lives). There are visits to Bastian’s pack lands on the outskirts of Crown City, Ohio.

Surprisingly, there are quite a few trigger/content warnings in Bait. I say surprisingly because I wasn’t expecting these triggers to be a central part of the storyline. They are:

  1. Child Abuse (Physical, Emotional, Verbal): Bastian is horrifically abused by his father, the Alpha of his pack. The author only goes into a small portion of what he had to endure, but what was outlined brought tears to my eyes. No child should have to go through that.
  2. Child Abandonment: Bastian’s mother left him with his monster of a father when Bastian was a baby.
  3. Cheating: Amber cheated on her boyfriend, Frankie, with Bastian.
  4. Sexual Assault: One of the characters is sexually assaulted at a college party by another partygoer. After going to the police, several other women make similar allegations.
  5. Murder: Bastian and his father murder his uncle at the beginning of the book. Bastian kills his father in self-defense. Another character kills the person who sexually assaulted another character (see above)
  6. Gore: There are several vivid descriptions of murder and assault.

If these trigger you, then I suggest not reading this book.

The main storyline of Bait is Amber and Bastian’s love story; they overcome the odds to be together, and Bastian overcomes his abusive past to become the Alpha of his pack. The storyline is told in first-person POV and split between Amber and Bastian, with an occasional third-person appearance. I liked that the author did this. I got to see how affected Amber was by Bastian. On the other hand, I enjoyed seeing Bastian throwing off the chains his father had metaphorically wound around him.

There is an Instalove element of Bait. While I am not a fan of Instalove, I did like how the author spun this. It was the fated mate angle. Instead of having the female run scared of the male, I liked that the author had Amber accept everything (after an adjustment period).

I liked that the main characters, at least Amber and her best friend, acted like your typical late teenager at the beginning of the book. I am not that old where I can remember my head being turned by every good-looking guy that came into my work (granted, I worked at a gas station/convenience store but still). I also remember my best friend at the time being just like Amber’s best friend and urging me to let loose and have fun. So, I related to that part. Now, saying that, after Amber and Bastian got together and the whole werewolf secret came out, I didn’t quite connect anymore. But it still made it fun to read.

Several secondary storylines and characters add much-needed depth to this story. These secondary storylines explained so much about Bastian’s past (because his father wasn’t/couldn’t tell him). I will admit I wanted to smack the crap out of Bastian’s mother, but I understood that she made a very tough choice and didn’t make it lightly.

The paranormal angle was terrific. I loved the vampire angle. Several twists to that angle made me shake my head. As for the werewolf angle, I liked that the author took a common theme from werewolf romances and ran with it. He created the Elders and added a neat twist to their storyline. Of course, what it meant wasn’t lost on me, and I wonder how Bastian would deal with it in later books.

The end of the book was interesting. I liked how the author wrapped up the storylines and teased another story (and I hope it will be about who was mentioned at the end).

I recommend Bait for anyone over 21. There are language, violence, and sexual situations. Also, see my trigger/content warnings above.

Many thanks to D.I. Jolly for allowing me to read and review Bait. All opinions stated in this review are mine.

If you enjoyed reading this review of Bait, then you will enjoy reading these books:

Other books by D.I. Jolly

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